Scientists and engineers at Stanford University have recently developed an AI-powered ankle exoskeleton that could make walking more efficient by allowing us to walk faster while burning less energy.
The device, while a made up of mobility and AI technologies, simply connects to your ankles and supports movement with a pulley system that lifts your heel up when you step. This reduces the energy and force needed to point your toe down to begin the next step.
As per the researchers’ paper, “An algorithm sequentially applied different patterns of exoskeleton torque and estimated the speed-optimal pattern, which was then evaluated in separate trials. With torque optimized for speed, participants walked 42% faster than in normal shoes.”
The idea behind the ankle exoskeleton is to eventually develop mobility solutions for the elderly and even the disabled. The current ankle exoskeleton is an early prototype meant for future research. The tests have only been done on young, healthy adults so far though.
If you’re interested in the reading the entire paper, click here.